Audi S5 vs RS5: What Difference Does The ‘R’ Make?

The Audi S5 is the performance version of the Audi A5, a popular regular Audi available as a coupe and sportback. Compared to the A5, it has a bigger engine, Quattro all-wheel drive as standard and some subtle styling differences. Of course, those luxuries all cost you extra.

So where exactly does that leave the RS5? The ‘Racing Sport’ version of the A5, the RS5 is actually designed by Audi AG subsidiary Audi Sport GmbH, and is the highest-performance variant. Although it’s fair to compare the S5 with the BMW M models and Mercedes-AMG, the RS5 is definitely Audi’s true answer to its rivals racing divisions.

Those interested in the S5 are no doubt willing to pay a premium for performance over the A5, but is it worth going all out with the RS5? Let’s take a closer look at the differences.

Quick Summary

Both Audis are souped-up A5s, but the RS5 is designed by Audi subsidiary Audi Sport GmbH and offers even greater performance–but it doesn’t come cheap.


The Audi A5, S5 and RS5 are all built from the same foundation. But while the visual differences between the A5 and S5 are very subtle, the difference between the S5 and RS5 are much more noticeable to the untrained eye.

Audi S5 rear view
Audi RS5 rear view

On the exterior you’ll find side skirts, Quattro branding, bigger 19” rims, intakes besides its head and tail lights as well as the exclusive RS front grill and oval tailpipes.

On the inside, things are identical to the S5⁠—apart from the sporty ‘S’ badging being replaced by the even sportier ‘RS’ badging, of course.

Audi S5 interior

Speed And Acceleration

Of course, the difference in performance is what the comparison between the S5 and RS5 is all about.

The RS5 actually shares the same core V6 TFSI® engine found in the Audi S5, but other differences give it a ~100 horsepower (444 hp vs 349 hp) advantage. The RS5’s engine has two turbos instead of one and a different bore which makes it a 2.9-liter (as opposed to the Audi S5’s 3.0-liter) engine.

The additional turbocharger means each turbo is responsible for just three cylinders, meaning less turbo lag and more power. Torque is also higher with the RS5, producing 443 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm vs 369 @ 3,100 rpm produced by the S5.

What does this all mean for the driver? The RS5 can go from 0-60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, beating out the likes of the Mercedes AMG C63 and Porsche 911 Carrera. It’s electronically limited to 155 mph, but purchasing the Dynamic package will unlock its full potential – a blazing top speed of 174 mph.

The S5 can also reach an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph, but 0-60 mph will take 4.5 seconds.

Handling and Ride Quality

The RS5 has a slightly lower center of gravity and custom RS sports suspension that gives it better handling capabilities. Combine this with its higher power output and you get a car that comes out of corners faster and is just a much more formidable track car.

However, those preferring a peaceful ride will prefer the S5’s less harsh ride and quieter cabin.

Body Type Availability

The Audi S5 is available in 3 body types: coupe, four-door sportback and cabriolet. The RS5 is available as a coupe and four-door sportback, but those hoping to drive without a roof will have to look elsewhere.

Audi RS5 Coupe
Audi RS5 coupe

Price and Value For Money

At this point it should be pretty clear that the RS5 is the faster car, but at what premium?

Both the S5 coupe and sportback start at $52,500. To get the RS5, you’ll need to spend at least $75,100. That’s over $20k more!

Contrast this with the difference between the Audi A5 and S5. The gap in performance between the two is similar to the gap between the S5 and RS5, but the price gap is just $8k.

Whereas, upgrading from the A5 to the S5 seems like good value for money, going from the S5 to the RS5 feels like a very steep premium for squeezing some extra juice out of the V6 engine. Then again, you also get bragging rights and join a much more exclusive club of RS5 owners.


Overall, choosing between a S5 and RS5 ultimately comes down to where your priorities lie.

The S5 is still a very capable performance car and quite honestly, you won’t notice much difference as a driver unless you find yourself behind the starting line of a drag race.

But, then again, the RS5 is the top-of-the-line model. And lined from head to toe with its RS badging, everyone will know you aren’t in an ordinary Audi. You end up paying a hefty premium over the S5 for a fairly small difference, but you do end up with the best of the best.

Comparison Table

2022 Audi S52022 Audi RS5
Engine3.0L Turbo V6 Gas2.9L Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
Horsepower349 hp @ 6300 rpm444 hp @ 6700 rpm
Torque369 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm442 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm
Transmission8-Speed Automatic8-Speed Automatic
DrivetrainAll-Wheel DriveAll-Wheel Drive
Steering TypeRack-PinionRack-Pinion
Rear SuspensionMulti-LinkMulti-Link
Rear Wheel SizeP255/35YR19P265/35YR19
Front SuspensionMulti-LinkMulti-Link
Front Wheel SizeP255/35YR19P265/35YR19
Turning Diameter (ft.)38.438.4
Fuel Economy
MPG/MPGe - Hwy3025
MPG/MPGe - City2118
MPG/MPGe - Combined2421
Gas Tank Size (gallons)15.315.3
Cruising Range - Hwy (miles)459.0382.5
Size and Weight
Height (in.)54.654.0
Length (in.)187.2186.0
Weight (lbs)39243990
Max Width (in.)72.673.5
Wheelbase (in.)111.2108.9
Interior Dimensions
Seating Capacity54
Trunk Volume (cu. ft.)-10.9
Front Seat Leg Room (in.)41.341.3
Front Seat Head Room (in.)37.837.4
Front Seat Shoulder Room (in.)55.755.3
Rear Seat Leg room (in.)35.132.7
Rear Seat Head Room (in.)37.036.1
Rear Seat Shoulder Room (in.)54.550.7
Infotainment Features
HD RadioOptionalStandard
MP3 PlayerStandardStandard
WiFi HotspotNot AvailableOptional
Satellite RadioOptionalStandard
Bluetooth ConnectionStandardStandard
Entertainment SystemNot AvailableNot Available
Premium Sound SystemNot AvailableStandard
Auxiliary Audio InputStandardStandard
Smart Device IntegrationStandardStandard
Hard Disk Drive Media StorageNot AvailableNot Available
Interior Trim
Cloth SeatsStandardStandard
Vinyl SeatsStandardStandard
Leather SeatsStandardStandard
Premium Synthetic SeatsStandardStandard
Bucket SeatsStandardStandard
Leather Steering WheelStandardStandard
Woodgrain Interior TrimNot AvailableNot Available
Comfort Features
Rear A/CStandardStandard
Seat MemoryOptionalStandard
Keyless EntryStandardStandard
Keyless StartStandardStandard
Cruise ControlStandardStandard
Multi-Zone A/CStandardStandard
Power LiftgateStandardNot Available
Climate ControlStandardStandard
Head-Up DisplayNot AvailableOptional
Power Mirror(s)StandardStandard
Automatic ParkingNot AvailableOptional
Navigation SystemNot AvailableOptional
Power Driver SeatStandardStandard
Cooled Rear Seat(s)Not AvailableNot Available
Hands-Free LiftgateNot AvailableNot Available
Heated Rear Seat(s)Not AvailableNot Available
Remote Engine StartNot AvailableNot Available
Cooled Front Seat(s)Not AvailableNot Available
Heated Front Seat(s)StandardStandard
Power Passenger SeatStandardStandard
Remote Trunk ReleaseStandardNot Available
Heated Steering WheelOptionalStandard
Adaptive Cruise ControlNot AvailableOptional
Navigation from TelematicsNot AvailableNot Available
Universal Garage Door OpenerStandardStandard
Steering Wheel Audio ControlsStandardStandard
Safety Features
Brake AssistStandardStandard
Night VisionNot AvailableNot Available
Rear Parking AidOptionalStandard
Traction ControlStandardStandard
Stability ControlStandardStandard
Blind Spot MonitorOptionalOptional
Cross-Traffic AlertNot AvailableNot Available
Lane Keeping AssistNot AvailableOptional
Tire Pressure MonitorNot AvailableStandard
Lane Departure WarningStandardStandard
Knee Air BagStandardStandard
Driver Air BagStandardStandard
Seatbelt Air BagNot AvailableNot Available
Passenger Air BagStandardStandard
Rear Head Air BagStandardStandard
Rear Side Air BagOptionalNot Available
Front Head Air BagStandardStandard
Front Side Air BagStandardStandard
Basic4 Years / 50,000 Miles4 Years / 50,000 Miles
Corrosion12 Years / Unlimited Miles12 Years / Unlimited Miles
Drivetrain4 Years / 50,000 Miles4 Years / 50,000 Miles
Maintenance-1 Years / 10,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance4 Years / Unlimited Miles4 Years / Unlimited Miles